Can I go to jail for a reckless driving charge in New Jersey?

Reckless driving is one of the most severe traffic offenses a motorist can commit. In addition to substantial fines and license suspension, motorists can face demerit points on their New Jersey driver’s license, leading to increased insurance rates. However, many drivers wonder whether they can face jail for this offense. Please continue reading to learn whether you could be subject to jail time if you’re convicted of reckless driving and how a dedicated Bergen County Reckless Driving Attorney can help you devise an effective legal strategy to combat your charges. 

What constitutes reckless driving in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, reckless driving is defined as an individual operating a vehicle “heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger a person or property.” Essentially, a driver is guilty of reckless driving when they operate a vehicle in a manner that puts others at risk. Unfortunately, drivers may receive a reckless driving ticket for grossly improper driving behaviors. This includes swerving in and out of lanes, speeding, driving on the wrong side of the highway, damaging property with a vehicle, and more. If convicted of this serious traffic offense, you will face various penalties as the authorities aim to keep dangerous drivers off the road.

What are the potential penalties?

While the penalties are often deemed less severe for reckless driving compared to those for driving while under the influence (DUI), they will still negatively impact your life. Ultimately, the consequences you face for a New Jersey reckless driving conviction are dependent on the circumstances of the offense. If this is your first reckless driving offense, it will likely result in fines ranging from $50-$200 and a jail sentence of up to 60 days. If the court determines that the driver poses a significant road hazard, they can enforce a ninety-day license suspension. A second or subsequent reckless driving offense will result in fines ranging between $100-$500, license suspension up to six months, and a jail sentence of up to three months. In addition, drivers will incur five demerit points on their New Jersey driving record, leading to increased insurance rates.

Reckless driving charges are taken very seriously in the state of New Jersey. As evidenced by the long list of potential penalties, including jail time, it’s imperative to seek legal assistance from a knowledgeable Bergen County reckless driving attorney who can safeguard your driving privileges and represent your best interests. At The Law Office of Carl Spector, we are prepared to defend your rights to avoid serious repercussions.